Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
I was a little worried about this before I started it, because it wouldn’t actually stem from Jane Austen’s own writing and would be pure fan fiction. It was spectacular, though!
I also highly recommend getting the audio book! Katherine Kellgren is absolutely incredible! Her voices are so perfect that there’s no way I could have read it with the same enjoyment she definitely brought to me.
As someone who is into martial arts, I absolutely loved the learning process the Bennet girls had to go through to get their moves down in the midst of the dreadfuls beginning to populate. The humor was fantastic–I found myself laughing out loud to several parts of the book. I truly felt like all of the characters retained the essence of how Jane Austen wrote them to be when they’re older.
This was such an enjoyable read that I fully plan on reading it several more times (or, more preferably, listening). Kitty and Lydia are just as silly, Jane and Elizabeth’s bond is just as great, Mary’s actually a little more interesting, Mrs. Bennet is just as ridiculous as ever, and Mr. Bennet is still the best. Particularly, I love how much Mr. Bennet was in this one, guiding his girls into becoming the best warriors possible, no matter the cost to how it would look on society.
Pick this one up! It’s such a fun starter before going into Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
This story is one of the most powerful “romances” I have ever read. It was dark, disturbing, and completely beautiful. It spans roughly sixteen years of Wavy’s life, bringing us through the hardships she has had to endure. The only thing besides her little brother, who she takes care of, that makes this life of hers better is Kellen, who is about twelve/thirteen years older than her. This is where people might take issue. A love blossoms between them at a young age, but it’s a love with the best of intentions. When she’s about seven, he meets her after he accidentally crashes in the driveway. Soon after, he goes to the house again and sees the filth she’s living in because her druggy mom doesn’t do anything except for stay in her room. He starts taking care of Wavy right then and never stopped. That’s why when the relationship between them becomes more, it’s not something that feels wrong. This book even goes to recognize how people will feel about their relationship through varying perspectives. Everyone knows it’s taboo, but the love between them is so bright, and so very real, that you root for them to be able to stay together.
This novel is beautifully written and executed so well. The differing views lend a hand at unveiling Wavy’s personality and show how she’s perceived through others, which really displays incredible depth to the character. What’s important to take away from this novel is that even with a subject that’s this taboo, with the circumstances that Wavy has been around, it all makes sense. And it’s truly an ugly and wonderful thing.
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerry Maniscalco
For this to be a debut novel- Wow! This is a book that I read within a day because it was so good, I couldn’t put it down. I love anything that has to do with serial killers and this was no exception. The research done to make all of the bodies and investigations to be that of what actually occurred during the Ripper time was exceptional. I fell in love with how much Audrey Rose would rather be cutting into dead flesh than sitting at a tea party making small, appropriate conversations with other girls her age.
The relationship between her and Thomas Cresswell was swoon-worthy and highly amusing. I was ecstatic to find out that Maniscalco is going to be making this a series because her dialogue skills are spot on. While I do understand that this is supposed to be a young adult novel, the context of death and dead flesh does make this content that is for an older age. That being so, I wish there was more romance between Audrey Rose and Thomas. I know that it’s considered improper for the time, but there were multiple opportunities where I wished they would just kiss already. When they finally did, it was kind of disappointing because of how awesome the build up of it was. So my only issue was just that I wanted more between them.
I loved the character of Audrey Rose being so headstrong and determined to help find the killer and to protect future women from being killed by Leather Apron’s blade. She promoted the ideals of feminism by choosing to further her education in science instead of willfully choosing to work on her needlepoint skills. She has sharp wit and is exceedingly clever. She’s just what we would hope to be living in those times.
This was an exceptionally delightful read and I can’t wait for the sequel!
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
It’s been a while since I’ve rated a book 5 stars! All of the mysteries and thrillers I’ve read lately start off very promising, but then don’t end up making the cut. This story had me hooked from start to finish. I actually finished it in one day because I just did not want to put it down.
Marco and Anne Conti are invited to a dinner party–but the baby sitter cancels at the last minute. After a heated argument, they finally decide to leave the baby at home and they’ll take turns checking on her every half hour since it’s right next door. This set up is fine until the baby disappears.
This tale is weaved so well that I really wasn’t sure “whodunit” at all. I had even been texting my boyfriend about each development in the story and how I definitely would not have guessed what was going to happen with each new arc. With this being Shari’s debut novel, I am highly impressed. I cannot wait for her to write more books so I can spend a day devouring them.
I don’t even want to tell you more about this story because I don’t want to give anything away. I was just so distressed and excited with each new page. Read this book–it’s so well worth the time.